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Butte County waiting to hear if Cal OES will extend hotel stays for Bear Fire survivors

Survivors of the Bear Fire/North Complex who were provided hotel rooms to stay in are afraid they may be evicted from their lodging on Monday.

Posted: Oct 24, 2020 2:12 PM
Updated: Oct 26, 2020 10:26 AM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - Survivors of the Bear Fire, also known as the North Complex, who were provided hotel rooms to stay in are afraid they may be evicted from their lodging on Monday.

On Saturday, Action News now heard from many survivors who were confused when they were told by hotel managers that their stays were only paid for through Monday.

Rumors have been circulating about the Red Cross running out of money, and about an emergency meeting that was going to be held Sunday to figure out what money could be used to house people. Action News Now reached out to the Red Cross and Butte County representatives to find out if these rumors had any basis. Here is what we learned.

Red Cross spokesperson and Disaster Program Manager Nuriddin Ziyadinov said they are no longer paying the hotel bills for the Bear Fire/North Complex survivors. He said because of the current FEMA disaster declaration, they are no longer the party responsible for paying the hotel bills. The last time they paid for the hotel rooms was a week to ten days ago, said Ziyadinov.

Butte County's Director of the Department of Employment and Social Services, Shelby Boston, is the person in charge of seeing to fire survivor housing now that the Red Cross is out of the picture.  Boston said as of Saturday morning there are still 303 Butte County citizens in non-congregant housing, such as hotels, because of the Bear Fire.

Boston confirmed that the funding does end on Oct. 26, 2020. She said she has requested a 30-day extension for people in the hotels.

Butte County has not received an extension yet, she said, but they anticipate it will be extended soon.

Boston told Action News Now that she reached out again to the California Office of Emergency Services (OES) again on Friday. She expects to hear from them by Monday, which is the last day survivor's hotels are currently paid through.

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